Christmas shopping. As a business that thrives around the christmas period, it is important that you are capturing the “early shoppers” as well as the “christmas eve” shoppers. Understanding how to navigate your business towards more sales at Christmas might seem like a hard task, but more and more shoppers are spending more money than ever.

Three out of four high street stores begin their sales during the first week of December, luring shoppers with an average 45% discount. John Lewis alone saw a staggering £777 million increase in sales over last years Christmas period as well as ASOS with a 15% year on year Christmas sales increase. The UK economy grew by 0.5% from July – September this year alone!

E-Commerce is the fastest growing retail marketing in Europe. Sales in the UK are expected to grow from £44.97 billion in 2014 to £52.25 billion by the end of this year (a 16.2% increase). On average, a UK consumer will spend £1,174 online in 2015 making us the most frequent shoppers in Europe, this includes if you are buying physical or digital products.

Social selling has also seen a substantial increase. By the end of 2015, social selling will amount to over £22 billion worldwide which is a 50% increase over 2014’s £12 billion. 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits from social media and as we know, generating leads ultimately turn into sales if you are marketing your business correctly.

So, how can YOU take advantage of Christmas sales?

  1. Pop Up Shop

eBay have experimented with this in recent years and has since teamed up with Argos to offer click-and-collect for customers so they can collect orders at a convenient time. If you are an online retailer, you should consider having a pop up shop over the christmas period to maximise your exposure and increase sales.

If you are considering a pop up shop, make sure you have enough stock to cover the christmas period as nothing breaks trust more than a business not being able to deliver on their promise.

  1. Invest in User Experience

It is so important to have a solid online delivery network. 45% of all online sales last December turned up late. This is extremely frustrating for customers and trust is so important especially around Christmas time. Good customer service, a great online user experience and swift delivery are important in making sure your business is ready over the busy Christmas period.

Think about the use of technology in the sales and marketing process. There are hundreds of great monitoring tools, scheduling tools and pieces of software that can help you analyse your data and shopping cart abandonment.

  1. Marketing Budget

Every high street and online retailer will be spending more money on their marketing budget than ever before in a bid to increase their sales. Understand your target audience and work out where they are spending their time online, so you know where best to spend your marketing budget.

You might also need to think about a budget for part time staff. Whilst this may not be important for 10 years out of the month, you are going to need extra hands on deck when it comes to the Christmas period.

  1. Be Transparent Online

Most Christmas shoppers, will be purchasing products as a gift for a loved one or a friend. You must be as transparent as possible online around the product itself, and your returns policy. Understand that the buyer may be unsure of the product they are ordering so stay transparent when it comes to images, descriptions and pricing.

  1. Research Your Competition

Every single business means war around Christmas so you need to research your competition to understand how they are pricing their products, and where they are factoring extra costs e.g. postage. Don’t make the mistake of undercutting your competition too much as reducing your margins substantially could have a negative effect on your business after the busy period.

To help you get ahead of your competitors, I will be running a complimentary webinar on Saturday the 7th November at 11am on ways in which you can navigate your business towards more sales at Christmas. I will be covering some of the above as well as the following;

  • Spying on your competitors
  • How to create a marketing plan and understanding how to execute it
  • Growth hacking by stealing followers and turning them into customers
  • The importance of up-to-date SEO and PPC campaigns
  • How to stay brand consistent through email marketing, content and images
  • The importance of having an “online voice” that reflects the core brand values
  • How to build partnerships with companies that have your target audience

If you would like to sign up for this complimentary webinar, you can do so here.